Introduction: This week we begin our study about witnessing. Although
this quarter is not a systematic study of the book of Acts (I wish it
were!), our study of witnessing centers on Acts.
Have you ever wished you knew how to be a better witness? Do you fee
shy? Embarrassed? Uncertain about what you should do or say? Let’s
launch into our study that should, by the time we finish the quarter,
give us a clearer idea on how we can effectively witness.
- METHODS OF WITNESSING
- Read Acts 1:1-2. Luke is the writer of Acts. He explains to
Theophilus (see Luke 1:3) his thinking in writing the gospel
of Luke, his “former book.” What is his reason for writing?
What was he trying to do?
- Read Luke 1:1-4 for comparison. Were there other
accounts of Jesus’ life available when Luke began to
write his gospel? (Yes)
- What additional reasons do you find here for Luke
writing his gospel?
- Is Luke an eyewitness? (Apparently not.)
- As you consider these texts, would you call Luke a
- If you say, “yes,” what kind of witness is Luke?
What is his specialty, his “method” of
witnessing? (He investigated, organized and wrote
out the information about Jesus and Jesus’
teachings so that people could believe and
understand Jesus’ message.)
- Do we have these kinds of witnesses today? Who
are they? Are you one if you teach the lesson?
- Read Acts 1:3. How would you describe what Jesus is doing in
this verse? (He is witnessing.)
- How is Jesus witnessing in these verses? (The verses
say that Jesus gave “convincing proofs” by showing He
was alive (and therefore resurrected) and by teaching
about the “Kingdom of God.”)
- What do you think Jesus was saying about the
“Kingdom of God?”
- Do we have these kinds of witnesses today – those
that give convincing proofs that Jesus is alive?
If so, who are they?
- Do Luke and Jesus differ in their methods of witnessing
(described in the verses we have read)? If so, how? (Jesus
is an example of the “living evangelism” and Luke is an
example of the “teaching evangelism.”)
- As a Christian, must we have both in our life? Will
one work without the other?
- What about a person who “majors” in one method as
opposed to another? Is that OK?
- Are there any other approaches to evangelism?
- What about hiring others to evangelize? Is that a
different and OK approach? Or is that just a
combination of “living evangelism” (the use of your
money is part of the way you live) with “teaching
evangelism” (you hire someone else to teach)?
- We have identified the two main ways in which we can
evangelize. What is it we are to be living and saying? We
turn to that next.
- THE GOAL AND ELEMENTS OF WITNESSING
- Read Acts 1:8. What is the job that Jesus has given to the
disciples? (To be witnesses!)
- Does this instruction apply to you too?
- What are we to “witness?”
- Read Matthew 28:18-20. How does this text relate to Acts
- Does Matthew 28 also apply to you?
- As you consider Matthew 28:18-20, what are the
elements and what is the goal of being a “witness?”
Let’s list them on the blackboard. (The goal is to
make disciples. The elements of making a disciple seem
to be convincing people of the authority of Jesus so
that they will submit to His authority through baptism
and then teaching them how to live in harmony with His
- Why does Jesus end these verses with the
statement that He is always with us?
- How is baptism an acknowledgment of God’s
authority? Or do you disagree with the idea that
baptism has anything to do with submitting to
authority? (Read Romans 6:3-4, 6-7. Baptism is
death to our old way of life. It is an
acknowledgment that sin causes death and an
acceptance of Jesus’ death in our place. It takes
away the authority of sin and replaces it with
submission to God.)
- What is the purpose of the second element of our
witness — teaching obedience to Jesus? (After
you teach people about the authority of God and
the importance of submitting to Him, you have to
show them what this means as a practical, day to
- Do you remember the different witnessing methods that we
discussed used by Jesus (after His resurrection) and by
Luke? How do Jesus’ “living” and Luke’s “teaching”
witnessing fit into the goals of Matthew 28:18-20?
- Can you show people the authority of God and the
importance of obeying through your life?
- Can you show people the authority of God and the
importance of obeying through your teaching?
- Examine your life. Is your life teaching the right
message? Or are you a different kind of witness?
- Let’s read Acts 5:17-21. The apostles were jailed because
they were preaching and healing. For what purpose did the
angel release them? (To witness.)
- Why do you think the angel told them to witness in the
- Couldn’t they witness somewhere less conspicuous?
- The temple is a place where people would come to
receive religious training and instruction. Is
that where we should witness – in places
designated for discussing God? Places where
people come to us?
- What about tackling people on street
corners and in airports — as opposed to
teaching only those who ask?
- What message did the angel tell the apostles to give?
- What does this mean?
- Read Acts 5:28-32. Is this the (v. 20) “full
message of this new life?”
- Was this a living or teaching witness? (This is a
teaching witness, but earlier ( Acts 5:15) we have
a living witness.)
- In Acts 5:29 Peter says he must obey God rather
than man. Is witnessing a matter of obedience to
God for us?
- Friend, God calls on us to be His witnesses. Sometime we
think of witnessing as going door to door to strangers. But
the witnessing we have learned about this week goes far
beyond that. It involves living a life that is a witness to
Christ. It involves teaching those who want to learn about
Jesus’ life and death. Are you the witness God calls you to
- Next Week: The Power and Joy of Witnessing.